If everyone in the world lived as Americans do, it would take five Earths to produce enough resources.
Just five countries, including the United States, contribute to more than 50 percent of the world’s harmful CO2 emissions. A lot of people nowadays have heard the words climate change. But many do not know of the effects climate change will have. Climate change is a somewhat complex subject because it is hard to change in such a short time considering climate change is already happening. So with help from the government, things could improve. In order to reduce the negative impact of Climate Change the U.S. department of energy and congress can collaborate and work together to help the US use cleaner energy and help the US emit less greenhouse gasses.
First of all, what will happen if nothing is done about climate change is shocking. An article written by the World Wildlife Fund states that 1″Rising sea levels could impact 1 billion people by the year 2050. Changes in water temperature causes algae to leave coral reefs… ice-free summers could become a reality. Heat waves will become more frequent and severe around the world…Global warming increases the risk of more frequent precipitation. And as that risk increases, so too does the risk of flooding. As the earth continues to warm, crucial habitats may no longer be hospitable for certain animals or plants.” Climate Change is no longer a concern but a problem. As the article shows the damage climate change will cause is very extreme. It would be very difficult to adapt or survive in these conditions. With floods often flooding people’s homes and cars will be damaged time and time again. Without certain plants and animals how will that affect the environment? Hopefully people won’t have to find out.
Positively, there are options the United States Government can use and are already starting to use that can decrease the chances of irreversible climate change. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2″Producing and using electricity more efficiently reduces both the amount of fuel needed to generate electricity and the amount of greenhouse gases and other air pollution emitted as a result. Electricity from renewable resources such as solar, geothermal, and wind.” Renewable energy is a much better option for our earth because less greenhouse gasses are emitted, and no fuel is used. Renewable energy is not a new subject. It has been used in the United States since the late 1800´s just in different forms. And hopefully now with renewable energy becoming more common the price will decrease, but the reward of having a safe place for future generations to live is so much better than the cost of a few solar panels or windmills.
Even throughout the covid-19 pandemic people have been active in protesting for climate change. 3An article by Burak Bir throughout 2020 there were many protests. People held their protests ¨both on the streets and social media.” Protestors demand change from global leaders and the need for action. And also, the promise of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. This shows that climate change is a very important issue to many people. Even though there is a pandemic circulating around the world people still get out there and protest.
We hear about climate change a lot nowadays but what does it actually look like? 4With data provided by Robert B. Schumunk, NASA created a video demonstrating climate change from 1880-2020. The video uses yellow, orange, red to show the heat. As of now in the present European countries, Asian countries, and the arctic are completely covered in red (meaning the hottest) and the rest of the world is covered in yellow. Climate change started to increase in the 1980s. In 1988 climate change was marked an issue. Most likely because of natural causes. The hottest year on record is 2016 according to a NASA analysis. The cause of the extreme spike and rise of temperature in the past 10 years is the increase in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels.
Some people may argue that what should be implemented to tackle climate change is or has become political. Although, it may seem that way it simply isn’t the truth. 5According to research done by Pew Research Center, Alec Tyson, and Brian Kennedy “majorities of the public – including more than half of Republicans and overwhelming shares of Democrats – say they would favor a range of initiatives to reduce the impacts of climate change, including large-scale tree planting efforts, tax credits for businesses that capture carbon emissions and tougher fuel efficiency standards for vehicles. Any more climate change is not a political issue. Republicans and Democrats alike agree the government should be doing more about Climate change. The government can create and pass new laws that will reduce carbon emissions. If everyone works together and everyone realizes the negative impacts of climate change, hopefully we can have a world where future generations can grow and flourish.
Lucy Diederich is an eighth grade student at Clarkston Junior High School.
1 World Wildlife Fund, Our planet is warming. Here is what’s at stake if we don’t act now, worldwildlife.org (2021)
2 United States Environmental Protection Agency, Learn About Energy And Its Impact On The Environment, epa.gov (August 12, 2019)
3 Burak Bir Anadolu Agency, Global climate strikes, environmental protests in 2020, aa.com.tr (December 12, 2020)
4 Robert B. Schumunk and NASA Global warming from 1880-2020, climate.nasa.gov (2020)
5 Alec Tyson and Brian Kennedy, Pew Research Center, Two-Thirds Of Americans Think Government Should Do More On Climate, pewresearch.org (June 25, 2020)